Housing Center Announces Planning For the Future

Change management at the Housing Center
Jay Readey, Interim Executive Director

The Board of Directors of the Oak Park Regional Housing Center is pleased to announce the engagement of Mission + Strategies and Jay Readey, J.D., as consultants to help the organization move to the next phase of its organizational development.  Beginning February 1st, Readey signed on to step into the role of Interim Executive Director on a part-time consultant basis, responding to leadership transitions.  Readey will assist the organization in change management as the Housing Center undergoes a strategic planning process with Mission + Strategies and aligns its programs with new market realities and evolving community needs.

Readey is a civil rights and community development attorney and consultant who served as the Executive Director of the Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights from 2010-2015, during which time he served on the Board of Directors of the Chicago Area Fair Housing Alliance.  Since 2015 he has focused his efforts on inclusive community development investments and programs, including the South Side Trauma Center at the University of Chicago Hospital, the West Side Community Center for Easter Seals, Big Marsh Park in South Chicago, South Suburban economic growth efforts, and the Pullman Community Center.

“Everyone I know who lives in Oak Park cherishes its racial diversity and integration,” Readey stated. “I discovered the Oak Park Regional Housing Center decades ago as a college student interested in efforts to promote racial integration.  The Housing Center is a national leader in the promotion of integrated communities.”

In 2013, Readey wrote “The Coming Integration” in the DePaul Journal of Social Justice, predicting a rise in market values for stable, racially diverse communities.  “Oak Park is the bellwether for what is happening across the country,” Readey said. “The success of the community owes directly to the village’s half-century commitment to intentional diversity.  New market realities and community needs require that the Oak Park Regional Housing Center adapt its vision to today’s realities.  But the programs and traditions of the Housing Center are positioned to do transformative work for Oak Park as a cornerstone of a vibrant and inclusive Greater West Side.”

“The Housing Center’s West Cook Homeownership Center fosters the American Dream for homebuyers from Garfield Park to Austin to Proviso Township and beyond,” Readey continued.  “The vision for diverse communities extends beyond Oak Park to its neighbors.  The Oak Park Regional Housing Center and its programs in homeownership and affirmatively furthering fair housing are poised to participate in a Greater West Side renaissance in collaboration with many of our dynamic community partners. By engaging Mission + Strategies, a ‘best-in-class’ nonprofit consulting firm, to perform its strategic plan, the Oak Park Regional Housing Center will validate the support of its many stakeholders and supporters with a vital plan for activities in Oak Park and the Greater West Side.”

Please direct questions for the Board of Directors, Interim Executive Director, Staff and Consultants to Derrick Lewis or Athena Williams of the Oak Park Regional Housing Center at 708-848-7150.